A Memory of Theocritus

THUS will I lie, on this green couch of leaves
Stript from the wayward vine, and while the brook
Beneath its slender osiers sweetly grieves,
And elfin echoes haunt each shadowy nook,
I ‘ll hearken how, among the rocks o’erhead,
The fountain tinkles down its narrow bed.
Cool in this dim recess the breath of day
Is softly blown, and from the humid moss
Thin exhalations rise, that steal away,
Elusive as a dream; the branches toss
Their emerald brede above me, and below,
Far down, the kine to lusher pastures go.
Sweet sounds and odors fold me like a sleep;
A wood-bird whistles from its piny bower;
A maiden’s silvery laughter mounts the steep;
And dreamily from one tall purple flower
That o’er me slowly vibrates, censer-wise,
Fine wreaths of fragrant incense seem to rise.
O singer who, in honeyed Sicily,
Long years ago upon some morning height,
Didst hear the droning of the vagrant bee,
And saw fair Enna smiling in the light,
I’d half believe thou hadst come back again,
Should goat-hoofed Pan but pipe a sudden strain.
James B. Kenyon.